by Rex Wockner
Several members of the Dutch Cabinet took part in the Aug. 2 gay-pride boat parade on Amsterdam’s canals.
Education and Culture Minister Ronald Plasterk, who is responsible for gender equality, told Radio Netherlands Worldwide that gay matters are “important social issues” and that he was representing “the entire (governing) coalition.”
“We encourage people to dare to be themselves and live the way they want,” he said.
A record 80 boats joined the four-hour parade, including entries by the city police, the mayor, the armed forces, several political parties, and gays from the Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean.
About half a million people turned out for the festivities.